The Soviets have developed a new lightweight jet hailed as the "missing component" of their air fighter force for the 1990s, Jane's Defense Weekly reported.

The authoritative journal said the plane might rival the U.S.-built F-16.Jane's, in an issue published Thursday, said the new MiG-35 was flown by pilots of India's air force in May and is in an advanced stage of development.

The Indians apparently were told that the MiG-35 would provide a potent combination with the larger Soviet MiG-29, already in service with the Indian air force, Jane's said.

Jane's quoted unidentified Soviet officials as indicating India would be allowed to export the MiG-35 but did not estimate a price for the new plane.

The magazine said the MiG-35 features a single engine, one tailfin and an air-intake chute under the fuselage, similar to the F-16, which is made by General Dynamics.

Some analysts view the MiG-35, designed for both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat, as the "missing component in the Soviet air force's fighter force for the 1990s," Jane's said.